Start a family tree on line.
It's quick and easy - and FREE.
And, its a really good way
keep track of the ancestors you known about and
find the ones you've been looking for. You
don't need a lot of information to get started.
Start with some information you know, and the
"Hints" will help you through the rest. Start Your Family Tree>>
|A lot of folks are starting their trees on line
and connecting with other researchers who
are working on the same family lines. Over 5
million people were added to family trees at
ancestry.com last week alone. Add over
80,000 photos to that, and your chances of
finding lost ancestors increase each week!
One of the
things I liked is that I could start
my tree without having all the birth
dates, death dates, etc. I just
entered a few names and the "hints"
found the information for me!
Here's what I did on my tree
in about 10 minutes.
I started with my tree with my
great grandfather. I added him and his parents
names to the tree and planned to add his birth
and death dates, marriage, etc. later on.
I looked at my tree again, my great
grandfather's birth and death dates and places
showed up in the "Hints" section. You can see where
the dates were automatically added under his
name (above). I didn't even have to type them
in. I just selected the records that were
his and the information was added to my great
The little green leaf next to "Ancestry Hints"
flashes when it finds new information that could
be related to your ancestors. When I
clicked on it, I got a list of records that
could belong my great grandfather. I
quickly scanned the list and sure enough, 3 of
the 4 records were his!
So, now I have the 1920 and 1930 census records
which show my great grandparents and their
children and the listing of my grandfather in
the Social Security Death Index. And I
haven't done any searching yet!
Add that to the first two records that "Ancestry
Hints" found (my great grandfather's World War II
draft registration card - would you believe he
registered for the draft at age 62 - and his listing in the
California Death Index) and
feel like I'm well on my way to building a
Another really great
feature that I found in the family tree is the
timeline. It gives a real quick glance at
the events in my great-grandfather's life. He
was 21 when he got married right after the turn
of the century. I can't wait to add some
of my mother's stories about him. And what I
remember. (He had this apricot tree...)
And, I can do that with the "Add a Story" and
"Add Audio" features. Maybe I could get my
mother on tape telling the stories!
And, of course, I need to add some photos of my
great grandfather, too. Oh. I could
add that photo of my great
holding me as a baby. I'm sure I was their
favorite great grandchild. (Ok, I was the only
one who lived close by.)
Also, I thought I'd add some old
postcard photos of the towns that my great
grandfather lived in. It's a good way to
help me visualize what things must have looked
like when he and my great grandmother lived
Speaking of my grandmother, I
added her name and her parents' names (and
again, no birth or death date), and when I
looked a little later at my tree, the leaf next
to "Hints" was flashing. It had found census records
for her from 1880 and 1900, when she was still
living with her parents. I never realized
that her grandfather lived with them. I
also found a possible connection with a
researcher working on the same family!
All of this in about 10 minutes. I'm
anxious now to put in a few more ancestors and
see what the "hints" section finds!
Getting More Than Just Help
Right now my family tree is private. You
have a choice of who you want to see it.
You can make it public and let everyone see it.
Or keep it private and invite a few family
members, friends, etc. to see it.
And, you can invite family members to help on
your tree. I have one cousin with a lot of
family photos that I've never seen. She just
might be getting an invite.
can choose the level of participation for each
person you invite - whether they can be a
"contributor" or just a "guest" if you want them
to be able to view information on living people.
I thought that was a great feature.
So, now when I have a few spare minutes, I'm
going to "check-in" with my tree and see what's
going on - see if the little green leaf has
found me any more "hints". I've always
thought my great grandmother's father was dropped
off by aliens. Can't wait to see what
"Ancestry Hints" finds for me on him!
haven't started your family tree at ancesty.com,
You really ought to try it out. It's
free. (You will need to set up a user name with
an email address and password, so the system
will know that its your family tree.)
I didn't think I'd
like it at all; I'm not a big tree-building
person. I figured I'd have to get out my
shoebox of information and dig out the death
dates and birth dates and stuff to start the
tree. I didn't. I had fun building
it. The hints were a great help. I
have information I didn't have before and it's
neatly organized and I can get back in to it
quickly. And, when I print out the
information I have on our family tree so far and
give it to my mother, she'll be impressed.
I won't tell her it only took 10 minutes.
Start Your Family Tree>>